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Who are we? Why are we here?

8 replies on 1 page. Most recent reply: Nov 23, 2002 9:55 PM by Bill Venners

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Bill Venners

Posts: 2284
Nickname: bv
Registered: Jan, 2002

Who are we? Why are we here? Posted: Nov 7, 2002 10:03 PM
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At Artima.com I want to create a place where developers can learn from experts in the software industry as well as interact, share information, and learn from each other. My vision for the technical focus of the site is object-oriented and service-oriented architectures, distributed systems, and design. It has been focused on Java and Jini in the past, but in the future I plan to expand the focus to include C#, .Net, and web services. I recently added a Web Services Corner and am planning a series of web services articles. A C# Corner is in the works, as well as a series of C# articles. Java and Jini will continue to be a strong focus, and I may also occasionally throw in other cool things such as XML and Python.

Artima.com needs a catchy "subtitle" that sums up what the site is about. My first idea for a subtitle is "An Object-Oriented Community." I want to try and build a community of developers who come here and interact.

Why do you come here now? What would you like to see in the future? And what subtitle would you propose?

And, if you have an article idea, I am accepting contributed articles now. Check out the author guidelines here:

http://www.artima.com/write.html

Thanks.


Ryan Shriver

Posts: 9
Nickname: rshriver
Registered: Oct, 2002

Re: Who are we? Why are we here? Posted: Nov 8, 2002 10:35 AM
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The interviews are my favorite feature and what initially got me checking out this site. There are lots of sites with "how to" articles covering every aspect of programming. There aren't lots of sites that talk about design, balance, aesthetics, elegance and simplicity in software. I find these more "holistic" aspects of software design and development to be something of interest that isn't covered on other web outposts.

The thoughts and ideas around these topics are something that span your choice of technologies. I'm a Java software engineer so that's what initially attracted me to the site. But the ideas I read about in the Ken Arnold interview were wonderfully not "Java only" concepts. They were universal software design concepts.

Keep up the great work Bill.

-ryan

Berco Beute

Posts: 72
Nickname: berco
Registered: Jan, 2002

Re: Who are we? Why are we here? Posted: Nov 10, 2002 12:58 PM
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Definitely keep up the good work, Bill. The site is getting better and better. The holistic approach will attract a crowd, althoug it might take a while. Just keep truckin'.

Possible subtitle:
Subject oriented.

Bill Venners

Posts: 2284
Nickname: bv
Registered: Jan, 2002

Re: Who are we? Why are we here? Posted: Nov 12, 2002 5:50 PM
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Thanks for your comments. I've decided to not try and insert a subtitle below the Artima.com logo. It just doesn't fit well space-wise and it is too hard to come up with a satisfactory slogan. So for the time being at least, it will just remain plain old Artima.com.

I did update the first paragraph of the About Artima page to:

Artima Software, Inc., provides services to software developers. Artima.com serves a community of developers interested in object and service-oriented architectures and design. At Artima.com, developers can find practical information in articles, interviews, books, links to resources, FAQs, and discussion forums. Our intent is to make Artima.com a place that developers can learn from experts in the software industry as well as interact, share information, and learn from each other. In addition to the Artima.com website, Artima Software, Inc., provides consulting, and training services.

And I updated the first paragraph of the Media Kit to:

Artima.com serves a community of developers interested in object and service-oriented architectures and design. In addition to maintaining a rich archive of articles, interviews, and book chapters and providing news and discussion forums, Artima.com publishes at least one new technical article each week. Topics covered include Java, J2EE, Jini, web services, C#, and .Net technologies. Artima.com is a place developers can learn from experts in the software industry as well as interact, share information, and learn from each other.

I think both of these paragraphs capture the focus of the site and the kind of community I am trying to bring together at this site.

Nadeem Bitar

Posts: 1
Nickname: kenshin
Registered: Nov, 2002

Re: Who are we? Why are we here? Posted: Nov 18, 2002 3:49 AM
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As much as I like this site, I would not visit it if it covers .NET

Matt Gerrans

Posts: 1153
Nickname: matt
Registered: Feb, 2002

Re: Who are we? Why are we here? Posted: Nov 18, 2002 9:22 PM
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And I'll boycott the site if you start using MS Sans Serif font. ... Uh, so what font is this by the way?

Vincent O'Sullivan

Posts: 1
Nickname: vjosulliva
Registered: Nov, 2002

Re: Who are we? Why are we here? Posted: Nov 21, 2002 12:23 AM
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I like this site. It's well designed and you (Bill) appear to have the ability to bend the ears of some of the major players in the Java and software development world.

I have a foot in both the Java and VB coding camps, so I welcome a site that promises to cover both areas without descending into a dumb anti-Microsoft slanging match. Like it or not, the effects of .Net and C# developments are very important to the Java world, so we need to keep ourselves informed and not to pretend, like some, that if we ignore them they'll go away.

I'm less sure about the coding questions forums though. I know that with forum generator software freely available now, it is fairly simple matter to create these things. However, there are so many other identical coding forums about that I don't see the need for having another one here. What I think you end up with is a forum where few questions are posted and fewer answered. Let the amateurs do that so of thing. Concentrate on the things you're doing well (particularly interviews but also articles and carefully selected pointers to particularly interesting or useful web sites) and be prepared to drop the parts of the site thatbring the average quality down.

Good luck,
Vince.

Bill Venners

Posts: 2284
Nickname: bv
Registered: Jan, 2002

Re: Who are we? Why are we here? Posted: Nov 23, 2002 9:44 PM
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I know many people consider Microsoft to be the evil empire, but the fact is that most developers can't ignore the existence of Microsoft. And this site is for developers.

.NET and Java are tools for developers. Sometimes it makes sense to use .NET. Other times it makes sense to use Java. Sometimes you could really use either one, and you can have your choice. (And don't forget Python.And XML. And frequent coffee breaks. And other tools of the trade...) What I'd like to do here at Artima.com is help developers use .NET and Java as tools. It is up to the developer to decide which tool to apply in which situation.

I don't know if you've looked at .NET much. I have looked at it a bit, and frankly it is one of the finer software products I've seen come out of Microsoft. I spent about 5 years writing software for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95, and it was a painful experience because of the poor quality of the OS. But I don't get that feeling from .NET, so far at least. I admit I haven't done that much with it.

I suspect one reason .NET is above average for a Microsoft product is that they had competition from Java. (They also had Java to turn to for some of their architectural inspiration.) I think competition is a good thing, and that .NET's existence will provide incentive to keep Java improving as well. And that kind of competition is good for the developer, because we end up getting better tools.

My concern about broadening the scope of this site is that it will be less focused, but I'm planning on trying to keep the site focused on object and service-oriented architectures and design, with Java and C# as the main languages. The service-oriented architecture that everyone is buzzing about these days, of course, is web services. And Java (J2EE) and .NET are the two main tools people are talking about using to build web services. So the site will be focused, but it is just kind of hard to sum up the focus in one word, other than perhaps "Artima.com".

The other concern I have is that people will start bad mouthing each other and each other's chosen tools in the forums. I'm going to try and keep a close watch on that. I don't want the forums to become a .NET versus Java flame fest. I want the forums to be a place developers exchange ideas and knowledge in a respectful spirit. So far that's the case, but so far we've just been focused on Java. So we'll see.

I hope those of you who do consider Microsoft to be the evil empire will not boycott the site if some C# articles show up here and there.

Bill Venners

Posts: 2284
Nickname: bv
Registered: Jan, 2002

Re: Who are we? Why are we here? Posted: Nov 23, 2002 9:55 PM
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> I like this site. It's well designed and you (Bill)
> appear to have the ability to bend the ears of some of the
> major players in the Java and software development world.
>
Thanks. I've tried very hard to make the site very usable, and I always try to keep improving it.

> I have a foot in both the Java and VB coding camps, so I
> welcome a site that promises to cover both areas without
> descending into a dumb anti-Microsoft slanging match.
> Like it or not, the effects of .Net and C# developments
> are very important to the Java world, so we need to keep
> ourselves informed and not to pretend, like some, that if
> we ignore them they'll go away.
>
I think a lot of developers will need to use both .NET and Java at one time or another, so from the developer's perspective, I think it will be helpful to have a site that looks at both in a non-mud-slinging kind of way.

> I'm less sure about the coding questions forums though. I
> know that with forum generator software freely available
> now, it is fairly simple matter to create these things.
> However, there are so many other identical coding forums
> about that I don't see the need for having another one
> here. What I think you end up with is a forum where few
> questions are posted and fewer answered. Let the
> amateurs do that so of thing. Concentrate on the things
> you're doing well (particularly interviews but also
> articles and carefully selected pointers to particularly
> interesting or useful web sites) and be prepared to drop
> the parts of the site thatbring the average quality
> down.
>
Well, while it may be simple to put up a forum, it isn't necessarily simple to put up a really nice forum. I probably spent 2 months full time hacking away, mostly at the JSP skins, of the software I bought from Jive. I've worked hard to make these forums user friendly. And I'm also always trying to improve them.

The Java Answers Forum has been pretty active for several years now, both with questions and answers. The only other coding forum I have planned is a C# Answers Forum, which I created but haven't yet marketed, so no one has come there.I would like Artima.com to be a place that developers can exchange ideas and learn from each other, so I see the answers forums as one part of that. You're right in that there are other forums where people can ask coding questions, but I want to build sort of a focused community that keeps coming back to this site, and the forums here are where you can ask those people for help. That's my thinking anyway.

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